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From: Paul Smith4/2/2012 2:23:42 PM
1 Recommendation   of 661234

The Romney Democrats Fear
Ann Romney’s unexpected rock star status has the political arena buzzing about how her husband’s campaign will leverage her popularity in an election in which Michelle Obama — one of the most admired first ladies in history — will have an outsized and substantive portfolio.

Indeed, this 62-year-old grandmother’s contribution to Mitt Romney’s campaign could amount to the most relevant role a wife has ever played in a presidential effort — softening the edges of a flawed and awkward candidate who struggles to connect with voters.

As Romney closes in on his party’s nomination, Obama campaign officials and strategists view Ann Romney as a wild card in the fall campaign — a skilled and articulate advocate whose full power has yet to be unleashed. If she’s armed with a passionate vision for a Romney White House, the opposition believes she could emerge as a compelling surrogate for her husband around the country.

She has, in fact, recently begun targeting women - a demographic Republicans desperately need - talking about the economy and jobs. "I wish Ann, my wife were here," Mitt Romney told a crowd in Wisconsin Sunday, flagging her efforts. "She’s going across the country and talking with women. We have work to do, to make sure we take our message to the women of America."

The Romney inner circle is well aware of Ann Romney’s potential - but has long resisted any strategy that would separate the couple for extended periods because of the negative impact it has on the candidate.

“I think you try to do both, but we don’t want a situation where they’re apart for three weeks,” Tagg Romney, the couple’s eldest son, said in an interview.

“You can tell when she’s off the trail for too long — my dad has got some sharper edges. He’s a little less patient. … She’ll say, ‘Oh, don’t sweat it, you don’t need to worry about that,’ and distract him. We always call her the dad stabilizer. He needs to be with her.”

Added a senior campaign official: “It’s something we weigh all the time. He’s just a better candidate when she’s around.”

Mitt Romney’s stilted personality, coupled with voter skepticism about his core beliefs, has proved to be a serious liability. Polls have shown that the more people get to know the former Massachusetts governor, the less they like him — the opposite dynamic of President Barack Obama. Even when Obama’s job approval numbers decline, people still say they like him personally.

Ann Romney, in contrast, exudes empathy and authenticity and offers a window into her husband’s character. Just as urgently, Republicans say that she’s a living testament to skeptical conservatives that Mitt Romney is one of them.

“She’s terribly important in that she is actually Mitt’s connection to the base,” said GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, who worked on Romney’s 2008 presidential effort. “His link to the base doesn’t come from ideology. It comes from family values channeled through Ann. She’s the authentic core of Romney’s conservative principles.”

Ruth Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, said that given “the central issue for the Romney campaign remains the candidate himself,” Ann Romney’s role in helping to define him is crucial.

“His challenge is still to convince conservative Republican primary voters … that they know him well enough to trust him as their nominee. Ann Romney’s most substantive contribution at this point is not any specific vision or policy agenda; it’s her ‘expertise’ as the person who knows Mitt Romney best. I don’t know whether liking her translates into trust for him — but that’s her challenge.”

Ann Romney currently does have her own campaign schedule — she campaigned solo in Wisconsin last week in advance of Tuesday’s primary — but much of her time on the road is with her husband. The campaign insists no strategic decisions have yet been made regarding her role going forward because they are still focused on pulling Mitt Romney through the volatile primary season.

And in a primary season that has seen the GOP front-runner stumble, stagger and sometimes fall, Ann Romney has been invaluable, campaign aides say. Although she spent most of her adult life as a stay-at-home mom, Romney is remarkably confident and at ease speaking about personal matters to large rallies and small house parties — the trials of raising five sons, her 43-year marriage and her health struggles.

With her cozy pullover sweaters and youthful, flowing blond hair, she has tried to shift her husband’s narrative from detached rich guy to caring family man who supported her when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and later breast cancer.

“I was so sick and depressed I couldn’t get out of bed,” she revealed in a local TV interview before the Michigan primary. “He told me he knew I was going to be OK. And I believed him. I wish more people knew him. … Women voters in particular would vote for him if they knew him like I know him.”

“She rounds him out,” said Thomas Rath, longtime Republican activist from New Hampshire and Romney adviser. “You live with a guy for 40 years, and you’re qualified to speak to what kind of man he is. And that’s a message that appeals to men as well as women.”

She has traveled the country on marathon bus rides with the campaign and taken over the job of introducing her husband at events. She’s even made a few stabs at trying to convey the zanier side of the very buttoned-down candidate — a bit harder task. “The boy I met in high school was fun-loving, lots of energy — never seen anyone with more energy!” Ann Romney enthused in Wisconsin.

She also serves as a useful ambassador to younger staff members and the sometimes cranky press corps, who have been dragged around the country in a frenetic primary that many thought would be over months ago.

Her health is constantly on the mind of everyone in Romney World. Although she hasn’t had an MS flare-up in a decade, she protects herself from exhaustion (which could trigger an incident), carries her own healthy food and builds in a week every couple of months for horseback-riding in California. She is an accomplished equestrian and has said that she turned back to riding as therapy when she was diagnosed.

“In any campaign, there are always very trying moments when this or that isn’t going so great or one more event gets added to a long day and it’s never easy,” said Stuart Stevens, a senior Romney strategist. “She is always in good humor and it’s very physically grueling.”

Most important, voters have taken to her. At a campaign event in Florida, the couple split up at a rope line to shake hands — and more people rushed to her side than his. (“She should be the candidate,” one man in the back muttered.) The day before the Alabama primary — a state where Romney was never expected to do well — his wife took a solo swing through the state, attracting fawning crowds at every stop.

Behind her easygoing Mamma Bear demeanor, say former and current Romney aides, is also a steely woman with good political instincts — and a disciplined regimen to keep herself healthy. On the campaign trail, she projects equanimity — even when reporters are badgering her with questions she can’t answer. “Oh, we’re not here to discuss that,” she’ll cheerfully say.

She routinely sits in on strategy sessions — but saves her suggestions for private conversations with senior staff or her husband. When she declared to an audience last month that she had “decided no more debates” — few who know her thought she was kidding. When the campaign was mulling over how to better humanize the candidate last December, she jumped into the discussion, telling staff, “I can do that.”

“She is not a second-string player,” Castellanos said. “She’s got a lot of running room on her own.”

Positioning a spouse in contemporary presidential elections is tricky business — with a lot of potential minefields. Strategists look for just the right message for the spouse to carry — and the right public image to convey to the public — so as not to seem too outspoken or too old-school. In 1992, the Clinton campaign overestimated Hillary’s working-woman allure and ran into resistance when Bill started boasting that by electing him, voters would get “two for one.”

In 2008, the Obama campaign totally miscalculated Michelle’s potential. They sent her just into African-American communities and black churches. Before long, mouthy conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly was calling her an angry black woman, and she was skewered for saying: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Fearing she was becoming a liability, campaign officials enlisted White House insider Stephanie Cutter to help retool her image and develop her own interests to push. Michelle Obama soon emerged as a superstar of the campaign — a fashion icon and role model for young women.

Today, Obama is an integral part of her husband’s reelection strategy. The first lady will be tasked with rallying the base — liberals, minorities, women and working-class folks — who love her. She will try to reestablish the grass-roots support that was so important to the president’s 2008 victory, and she will focus on turnout and voter registration. Her 20-minute stump speech is meaty and policy driven and includes a conversational rundown of the Obama administration’s accomplishments, from finding Osama bin Laden to health care reform.

Romney aides say that Ann will be a critical part of the general election campaign strategy, but there are no immediate plans to dramatically change her message. To date, she has kept it simple and not veered too far into political territory. "One thing we don’t want to do is step on her spontaneity. A lot of what she says, she has figured out herself," says one Romney campaign official.

“I do think she can be most effective by talking about what kind of man he is, how he will make decisions, how he can bring the country together,” Tagg Romney said.

And there is another reason Romney insiders are reluctant to change the formula of keeping the couple together on the road: Her mere presence seems to calm the whole operation.

“She tamps down the commotion,” said Kevin Madden, who worked for Romney in 2008 and is now an adviser.

Madden recalls feeling particularly anxious prior to a debate in New Hampshire about how the candidate would fare.

“I walked into their hotel room and there was Ann and the boys talking to Mitt about everything but the debate,” Madden said. “They were laughing and he wasn’t being crammed with last-minute facts. Immediately, I relaxed and felt so much better. I knew everything would be all right.”

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To: Bridge Player who wrote (480196)4/2/2012 2:26:27 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 661234
Every store has them. Great for gifts. Most popular is the "honeybee," the hundred dollar denomination.

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To: hdl who wrote (480197)4/2/2012 2:27:20 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 661234
Yes, They are getting Spitzer for peanuts.

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To: Stan who wrote (480204)4/2/2012 2:28:53 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 661234
Most common is partnership and key man insurance. Very legit.

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From: LindyBill4/2/2012 2:32:10 PM
   of 661234
Study Says DNA’s Power to Predict Illness Is Limited

If every aspect of a person’s DNA is known, would it be possible to predict the diseases in that person’s future? And could that knowledge be used to forestall the otherwise inevitable?

The answer, according to a new study of twins, is, for the most part, “no.”

While sequencing the entire DNA of individuals is proving fantastically useful in understanding diseases and finding new treatments, it is not a method that will, for the most part, predict a person’s medical future.

So, the new study concludes, it is not going to be possible to say that, for example, Type 2 diabetes will occur with absolute certainty unless a person keeps a normal weight, or that colon cancer is a foregone conclusion without frequent screening and removal of polyps. Conversely, it will not be possible to tell some people that they can ignore all the advice about, for example, preventing a heart attack because they will never get one.

“The punch line is that this sort of personalized medicine will not in any way be the most important determinant of patient care,” said Dr. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins, who, with his colleagues and his son Joshua, analyzed the power of sequencing all of a person’s DNA to determine an individual’s risk of disease. The study, published online Monday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involved data from 53,666 identical twins in registries from the United States, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The registries included data on 24 diseases, telling how often one twin, both or neither got a disease.

Since identical twins share all of their genes, the investigators could ask to what extent genes predict an increased chance of getting a disease. Using a mathematical model, they reached an answer: not much. Most people will be at average risk for most of the 24 diseases.

They asked: Would those who ultimately got one of the 24 diseases have been forewarned by DNA sequencing? “Unfortunately, it tells them they are at roughly the same risk as the general population,” said Dr. Vogelstein.

The researchers also asked whether healthy people would learn by DNA sequencing that they were at low risk for a disease. Again, the results were disappointing. For example, more than 93 percent of women would learn they were at low risk for breast cancer and more than 97 percent of men and women would learn their risk for lung cancer was low. “But these negative tests do not mean they are at no risk for these cancers,” Dr. Vogelstein said. Their risk is more like that of the general population. And, Dr. Vogelstein says, even knowing you are at high risk for a disease may be less useful than it sounds. A woman who is at high risk for ovarian cancer might have a 10 percent risk, many times higher than average. That, Dr. Vogelstein said, “is unlikely to be the main determinant of her health.” But there was one positive finding — as many as 90 percent of people would learn that they are at high risk of getting at least one disease. And gene sequencing could, in theory at least, identify as many as 75 percent of those who will develop Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune thyroid disease, Type 1 diabetes and, for men, heart disease.

However, with the exception of heart disease, there is as yet no way to prevent these diseases or slow their progress. And since high risk of an infrequent disease, like ovarian cancer, is far from a prediction that the disease is in the person’s future, the information might be valuable but would not necessarily make much difference in the end.

“The general point is absolutely correct,” said Dr. David Altshuler, professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved with the research. “Even if you know everything about genetics, prediction will remain probabilistic and not deterministic.”

The reason, he suspects, is that behavior, environment and random events tip the balance. “I am a big believer in randomness,” Dr. Altshuler said.

Dr. Vogelstein is too, but he had hoped the study might prove him wrong. He and his colleagues had studied a patient with pancreatic cancer. Several family members had also developed this rare disease, and so Dr. Vogelstein and his colleagues decided to determine the sequences of the patient’s genes, looking for a mutation.

“Indeed, we found the culprit,” Dr. Vogelstein said.

Several other research groups looked at families with other diseases and also found unexpected genetic culprits by sequencing all of a patient’s DNA.

“It occurred to us that maybe we could do this for everyone,” Dr. Vogelstein said. “Maybe we would find that most disease risk was concentrated in a relatively small number of people. That would have dramatic health policy implications. It would mean we could concentrate our surveillance on that proportion of the population that was at high genetic risk.”

The twins study let him see what might be possible. And, he says, “it puts limits on what people might expect with this sort of testing.”

Other experts pointed out different aspects of DNA sequencing that can improve health and medical care. Sequencing can, in some cases, aid in determining a patient’s prognosis. It can find the causes of mystery ailments in individuals, and it can find mutations that appear to be driving the growth of cancers in individual patients.

Sequencing also is starting to help doctors decide who should take drugs to prevent diseases, as is happening with heart disease.

In heart disease, one pressing problem is how to decide which young and middle-aged adults would benefit from cholesterol-lowering statins to reduce the risk of a first heart attack, said Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a genetics researcher who is director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. The drugs reduce the risk by 20 percent, but if your risk is low to start with, a 20 percent reduction does not mean much.

Now, Dr. Kathiresan said, by analyzing data from studies that sequenced entire genomes, researchers have found 30 gene variants that, taken together, can identify healthy people who have twice the average risk of heart disease. “There is a great attraction to using genetics in this way,” he says.

Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan, professor of law, ethics and policy at Duke, notes that every person whose DNA is sequenced will get information about whether he or she will respond to certain drugs and whether certain side effects will result from taking certain drugs. Vanderbilt University is already doing genetic analyses of patients to help in prescribing a short list of drugs, says Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at its medical school.

But the real benefit of studying the human genome, Dr. Altshuler said, is not to predict people’s medical futures but instead to understand how diseases occur and to use that knowledge to develop better therapies. Already this sort of work has succeeded with an entirely new type of drug to lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, he said.

“The reason we do it is because we want to use genetics to pry open the black box of how disease works,” Dr. Altshuler said. “Not to personalize existing treatments, but to develop new treatments that are more effective.”

And that, he said is “a work in progress.”

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To: LindyBill who wrote (480212)4/2/2012 2:32:20 PM
From: hdl
1 Recommendation   of 661234
the romneys have 2 cadillacs.

jay leno has a lot of expensive cars.

spitzer often spent over $5,000 for a short time with a young whore.

sharpton is worse than spitzer or his whores.

american values are strange.

media values are strange.

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From: LindyBill4/2/2012 2:34:50 PM
5 Recommendations   of 661234
Federal Judge: Citizens Can Buy Guns and Ammo During State of Emergency
from Breitbart Feed

Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina made a controversial decision when the state was devastated by storms in winter of 2010: she declared a state of emergency. That declaration was quickly followed by one from the city of King, which banned possession of alcohol and guns outside the home.

Now a federal judge has ruled that state law cannot create a ban on buying guns and ammunition during emergency situations. "While the bans imposed … may be limited in duration, it cannot be overlooked that the statutes strip peaceable, law-abiding citizens of the right to arm themselves in defense of hearth and home, striking at the very core of the Second Amendment," Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard wrote in his order.

This is a victory for the Second Amendment at a time when the Second Amendment is under direct assault from Democrats across the country. Within the last two days, both former President Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden have used the Trayvon Martin case as an excuse to reintroduce the gun control issue. They ignore, however, that the Second Amendment is a real and vital part of the Constitution, and cannot be overruled by statute. Judge Howard’s ruling should remind them of that inconvenient fact.

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To: CF Rebel who wrote (480207)4/2/2012 2:38:15 PM
From: Bill
1 Recommendation   of 661234
"The Constitution does not define the phrase natural-born citizen, and various opinions have been offered over time regarding its precise meaning. The Congressional Research Service has stated that the weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion indicates that the term means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship "at birth" or "by birth," including any child born "in" the United States, even to alien parents (other than to foreign diplomats serving their country), the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements."

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To: LindyBill who wrote (480214)4/2/2012 2:43:58 PM
From: DMaA
   of 661234
All you need to know about that is one of a pair of identical twins can get a disease and the other can stay healthy. The genome is only part of the story.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (480214)4/2/2012 2:47:17 PM
From: DMaA
   of 661234
Interesting Factoid: According to a biologist at a TED lecture I watched this weekend, you have 10X more bacteria cells in and on your body than you have human cells.

You dirty old man.

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